Qualcomm (QCOM) - Get Report shares are getting hit hard on Wednesday after the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in favor of the Federal Trade Commission's anti-competitive case against Qualcomm. Wall Street analysts were making it clear the risks to the stock warrant caution.
The stock was down 11.36% to $68.92 a share on Wednesday. Shares also tumbled on Monday following news it would stop selling chips to China's Huawei after the White House banned U.S. companies from doing business with the Chinese telecom giant.
On Wednesday, a California judge ruled in favor of the FTC although Qualcomm has said it will appeal the decision.
Here's how analysts responded:
Deutsche Bank, Price Target Lowered to $80 From $90, Hold
Analyst Ross Seymore said in a note out Wednesday, "The decision from Judge Koh is clearly a negative for QCOM in that it at least partially resurrects the 'business-model-validity' questions that plagued the company over the past 1-2 years, and that many thought had been eliminated with the recent QCOM/Apple (AAPL) - Get Report settlement. Seymore added that "it is unclear if this ruling has any implications on the recent settlement with Apple or last year's extended licensing agreement with Samsung (SSNLF) ." Overall, Seymore wrote that "the reemergence of these uncertainties and likelihood of litigation expenses remaining elevated for the foreseeable future likely combine to cap upside in QCOM shares until greater certainty can be discerned."
Seymore maintained his revenue and earnings per share estimates.
Alliance Bernstein, Price Target $85, Outperform
Analyst Stacy Rasgon didn't change his estimates or lower his price target on Wednesday, but did say, "In practice, we don't know what will happen next. Renegotiating licenses is likely to be onerous, and given their largest customers (AAPL and Samsung) have (at this point) attractive deals (and with Huawei not paying anyway) perhaps (barring appeal, etc) it can be contained, though we suppose the risk exists of smaller players attempting to renegotiate."
Hedge fund Kerrisdale Capital predicted in January the FTC would win the case, announcing it was short Qualcomm.
Qualcomm shares are still up 21% year-to-date, boosted by the settlement with Apple.